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Countdowners 2014

(387 Posts)
Farrowandbawlbauls Thu 26-Dec-13 18:31:56

Yes I know it's still Christmas 2013 for a few more days, but technically, the countdown started this morning.

So..Here we are again.

We will need:

Links to other threads about bargin hunting
Links to sales throughout the year
Links for decorations
Links for days out
Links for any good electrical sales
Links for budgeting
Links for really good gifts for men as they are generally the harest to buy for and grandparents/in laws.

There's no harm in starting a list now either for what you need to get next year, learning from this year and previous years.

The top of my list I must remember to write a card to SIL T&S, every single year they have sent a card and I've failed to send one in return for the 3rd year running now. Ditto Claire.

Must remember to buy crakers from M&S again, they were fantastic.

GeekInThePink Thu 26-Dec-13 18:59:08

smile well done for starting this!

lucysmam Thu 26-Dec-13 20:19:44

I'm in, already have next years diary with something to buy each week pencilled in grin

My top tip for next NOT move house four days before Christmas! It's been disorganised chaos here confused

Farrowandbawlbauls Thu 26-Dec-13 20:39:51

4 days before! Blimey, you like a challenge. Everything else inlife will be a breeze compared to that.

Farrowandbawlbauls Thu 26-Dec-13 20:42:36

I've started my list and I'm on page 3 already blush although, food and drink and snacks are on there that have gone down well with the kids this year which has taken up most of the space.

lucysmam Thu 26-Dec-13 21:08:31

Everything barring what we needed has been hidden in the garage to start putting away at the weekend...that'll be fun hmm

This weeks thing to buy is bargain wrapping paper tomorrow when me and dd1 go for dd2's birthday presents & cards.

I'm working from this years list for food/snacky stuff so will cross off any wasted stuff at the weekend & not buy again.

TheOnlySevenSleighbells Thu 26-Dec-13 22:36:28

Thanks for starting this farrow.

I think perhaps I need to tone it down a little next year, the DCs have had so many presents! Loads from my parents as well as us, spent half an hour tidying toys tonight because I got fed upof not being able to see the floor, they've still got presents from my sister to come too. Perhaps I'll just budget better so we can get fewer but better quality gifts. We've so much snacky food left too, far too much, haven't even started the cake or Yule log yet.

What have you thought of that would make next Christmas better or easier? I think I'll get one of those can money boxes and start saving 50p's towards the next one in the hope it'll cover the food shop. My parents save £2 coins, not sure I can afford that!

TheOnlySevenSleighbells Thu 26-Dec-13 22:37:13

^sorry I've had wine and I'm rambling^

ChestyNutRoastingOnAnOpenFire Thu 26-Dec-13 22:55:45

Yay fgrin

I had an issue with my roast potatoes! Didn't go as brown as normal or crispy fhmm

Was my issue
A. Too much goose fat?
B. too many potatoes in tray?
C. Oil not hot enough?
D. All of above?
E. something else?

TIA fgrin

kissmelittleass Thu 26-Dec-13 22:56:20

I just wanna cry I waited all year for this now I have to start again..well it ain't over till the fat lady sings and she ain't singing for a while I can tell ya/emo/te/5.gif

TheOnlySevenSleighbells Fri 27-Dec-13 09:25:09

chesty did you par boil them? We par boiled and roasted in goose tat and ours didn't go brown or very crispy, I just assumed we par boiled them for too long. They tasted good though!

Looked at the boots sale online last night, I've ordered mil present from DCs plus a stocking present each for DS and DD1.

Farrowandbawlbauls Fri 27-Dec-13 11:33:30

Farrow's Roast Potatoes

Serves roughly 4-5 greedy gits.

You will need:

Potatoes, cut into large golf ball sized chunks and enough to cover the bottom of the baking pan leaving enough room so you can turn them.
Garlic Salt
Corse Ground Black Pepper
Goose Fat

Pre heat the oven to 220C.
Par boil the potatoes for 10 minutes and pour 6-8 tablespoons of Goose fat into the baking pan and place in the oven.
Drain the potatoes, then give a shake in the pan and sieve to roughen up the edges. Leave in the seive to steam dry for about 5 minutes.

Mix up equal amounts of garlic salt, pepper and semolina and sprinkle all over the potatoes, making sure they are covered on all sides.

Place in the Baking tray with the oil and then back in the oven for roughly an hour, turning the potatoes twice in that time.

Once golden and crispy, taken them out, sprinke with fresh thyme leaves and serve hot.

Farrowandbawlbauls Fri 27-Dec-13 11:39:39

Farrow's Yorksire puddings

This really is fool proof and works every single time.

1 cup of plain flour
1 cup of eggs (about 4 medium sized eggs)
1 cup of water and milk mix

Heat oven to 220C, pour oil into whatever you are cooking the yorkshire puddings in and heat until hot.

Put flour, eggs and water and milk combo in a bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until light and airy.

Take oiled yorkshire pudding tray out of the oven and pour in the mixture. It should hiss and sizzle at the batter hits the oil.

Put back in the oven and leave it alone for 20-25 minutes.

They should rise everytime and be golden.

ChestyNutRoastingOnAnOpenFire Fri 27-Dec-13 13:37:10

Yes I parboiled. They tasted good but disappointed they looked anaemic fsad

Farrowandbawlbauls Fri 27-Dec-13 15:06:54

Occado are selling gold, silver and red wrapping paper at half price with matching gift tags at 99p per pack.

Debenhams half price sale is now on

200Cigarettes Fri 27-Dec-13 15:15:58

I wish I had a spare cupboard where I could store xmas stuff I buy all year round to spread the cost (decorations, wrapping paper, presents etc). Just have no space!

daiseehope Fri 27-Dec-13 15:19:20

Hello, I feel odd but I'm going to take the fab example you've all set and start planning..... hmm

ZingChoirsOfAngels Fri 27-Dec-13 15:21:27

you are all mad!

I'm shaking my head in disbelief but somewhat in awe of this level of commitment!

good luck to you all - and I wish a whole New Year of present hunting!grin

ZingChoirsOfAngels Fri 27-Dec-13 15:22:16

*successful present hunting!

daiseehope Fri 27-Dec-13 15:23:17

Roasties - parboil for 15, beat them up a bit in the saucepan when drained with a bit of salt.
Preheated oven and bit of oil on tray at 200 / 6
40 mins shake and turn occasionally till right colour xx

We just use vegetable oil, it's the heat and heated oil that's important not any fancy goose fat wink

Farrowandbawlbauls Fri 27-Dec-13 15:28:50

I know it's mad, but it does help me in a huge way with budgeting.

I know what foods to buy and not buy for next time ie, no wispas but more matchmakers, no cabbage, more ham, no mince pies with icing on, ,make more homemade ones etc.

Anything that's been left out this year goes on the list:

Ie, foil
Lights (2nd year in a row I've forgotten extra lights for the tree)
Plastic sucky hook thing for door wreath

And so on.

When the kids ask for something really expensive that can't be justify buying it for them, just for the sake of it, it get's bought but put away for Christmas. (like the 3DS).

That way the present list is kept to budget, and the kids get stuff that they've asked for eventually. Making them wait for it makes it that bit more special when they do open it and you know it's not going to be a fad thing unlike so many toys that are "must haves".

chanie44 Fri 27-Dec-13 15:33:18

I bought my first Xmas 2014 presents today - battery powered toothbrushes for the children. In Superdrug for £2.62 instead of £5.99. They will go in their stockings.

I know it sounds mad, but buying throughout the year means I can pick up bargains and spread the cost.

Farrowandbawlbauls Fri 27-Dec-13 15:38:20

Thanks for that Chanie - I'm going to get some for the kids as stocking fillers..I'll have a look on Monday we I get dragged out by the kids.

lucysmam Fri 27-Dec-13 15:38:44

Farrow I have a plastic sucky thingy for my's had to be suckered back on every day since moving in!

I've added new tree lights and a set of window lights to the bottom of this years (now rather scratty looking) list. Along with an extra tin or two of ham...seems to disappear entirely between dp and dd1!

ZingChoirsOfAngels Fri 27-Dec-13 15:40:36


I do get the jot down dos and don'ts while it's fresh in your memory!

same as what we do after a holiday (or DH after camping with kids) it helps make the next one better.

I'm not mocking (only a little bit! wink), but the title made me grin!

DH actually has a shopping list that he prints and updates each year, also prints out cooking times.

I made duck confit a week before the day (first time) - I will do it a month ahead next year.
also left the gingerbread biscuits too late so no gingerbread house this year (but I had terrible morning sickness so I really couldn't do things on time)

we also managed to get kids clothes for church ready on time this year (result!) and everything went pretty smooth, do it's definitely worth planning ahead.

And I would like a gift wrapping room like Niles in Frasier has - oh the dream of having a dedicated space for cards and gifts and all things giving in one

but I won't be hunting for gifts just yet - I'll leave it to you all!


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